Maybe Boise doesn't pop to the top of the list when it comes to hotbeds for jazz music but it should. Not only was it the longtime home to the late jazz great Gene Harris, but it's also where he established the Gene Harris Jazz Festival to bring some of the best jazz artists to the City of Trees, where they play at night and teach young musicians during the day.
Now in its 13th year, the festival continues to foster the next generation of jazz musicians and fans. The three-day festival will kick off with the Gene Harris Legacy Concert on Thursday, April 22. The Monty Alexander Trio will perform at the Stueckle Sky Center RR Ranch Club beginning at 7 p.m. Tickets are $50.
Things really get going on Friday, April 23, with a series of "jazz club" concerts, which basically means if you can't legally down a martini, you're not getting in. From 4-7 p.m., the Anschell-Jensen Duo, Diverse and the New Trio will be performing in three venues within the Boise State Student Union.
Later that night, Diverse will open a show headlined by Santa Fe and the Fat City Horns, a 15-piece horn band based out of Las Vegas. Music begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom.
The Jazz Club concerts continue on Saturday, April 24, from 4-7 p.m. with Gabriel Alegria's Afro-Peruvian Jazz Sextet, the Anschell-Jensen Duo and the New Trio. That night, the festival wraps up with Latin jazz headliners Doug Beavers' Latin Jazz Orchestra. Music begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom and tickets are $35 for special seating or $20 general admission. All-event premium seating tickets are available for $140, and single-day tickets cost $50 and can be bought at idahotickets.com.
Thursday-Saturday, April 22-24, Stueckle Sky Center and Boise State Student Union Building, 1910 University Drive, Boise. For more information, visit geneharris.org.